Environmental sustainability project lands students a trip to the Arctic

21 Dec 2010 15:42:26.853

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A team of four Nottingham students have won a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Arctic Circle, for their environmental sustainability entry at the npower future leader’s competition.

Umesh Kumar (Geography and Chinese), Ben Blackburn (Geography and Business), Andrew James (Management Studies) and Eliot Booker (Sociology) were chosen for their project ‘SheepMob’.

Judges were impressed with the team’s social media campaign and pledge event. Under the brand ‘SheepMob’ the project was designed to encourage students to be more environmentally friendly without having to make major changes to their normal behaviour.

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The project was deliberately designed to move away from the traditional messages that are often rolled out when environmental issues are discussed. Instead the team organised a student night at Minus One, during which people were encouraged to make a pledge to reduce their carbon footprint.

Team member Andrew James explained: “We wanted to run a project that helped students become aware of environmental issues but avoided the typical hippy stereotype that usually comes to mind.

“Instead, we created the SheepMob brand and made it relevant to students by using social media and hosting a night out to inform them of ways they could reduce their impact on the environment.”

After being selected as one of two winning entries, the team will now head to Northern Norway in March. While there they will spend a week putting their newly acquired team skills to the test as they use dog power to sled 124 miles in temperatures as low as -30˚C.

Andrew continued: “After studying for a term I can’t think of anything better than flying as far north as possible, being let loose with six huskies and travelling across the Arctic. Seeing the Northern Lights whilst lazing in a hot-tub at the end of a hard day sledding really would be something to tell the grandchildren when I’m an old man.”

The npower future leaders’ competition, which is now in its second year, challenges students to conceive, develop and deliver a project which will have a positive and lasting impact on sustainability within their local community.

As well as contributing to the environment, the company believe that entrants will gain employability, time management and event organisation skills, as well as a greater awareness of the energy industry and career opportunities at npower.

Volker Beckers, RWE npower’s CEO, congratulated the team for their commitment and enthusiasm in delivering a sustainable project which will make a real difference to the university campus.

He said: “The Future Leaders Challenge has offered a platform to develop specific skills to help them in their future careers. I am positive that their projects will continue to develop and that they will have inspired others to consider how they too can make a difference.

“We developed the npower Future Leaders Challenge to find undergraduates with passion and drive — and I believe we have unearthed that passion and also found real climate change champions in this competition.”

For more information about the competition, please visit http://www.npower.com/brightergraduates/future-leaders.html.

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news.

Facts and figures at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/about/facts/factsandfigures.aspx.

Story credits

Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: harry.waddle@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

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